Traditional Pretzel Buns Recipe
- 11-11.25 oz room temperature water, (start with 11 oz and only add another teaspoon or so of water if things seem to dry. This dough should be pretty firm and not at all sticky)
- ½ oz malt syrup or dark corn syrup. You can also use molasses if you'd like
- 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 22 oz all purpose flour
- 2 oz melted butter
- ¼ oz (.25 oz) active dry yeast
For the Lye Bath
- 1000 g room temperature water
- 30 g food grade lye, (sodium hydroxide)
To Finish (Optional)
- Pretzel salt, , other coarse salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling, optional
- latex or non-latex gloves
- eye protection, (glasses or onion goggles)
- Put all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer in the order listed.
- Fit your mixer with the dough hook and mix on low speed until all the flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-low to medium and knead until the dough is smooth, not at all sticky, and nicely elastic, about 10-12 minutes. Check it after 2-3 and add the tiniest bit of extra water if the dough seems too stiff.
- Once kneaded, shape the dough into a ball, and place it back in the mixer bowl. Spray the dough with span spray or brush it with some oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a dry, unfloured surface and press out the gases. Divide the dough into 9 even pieces (if you have a scale, scale them at 4 oz each).
For the Lye Bath
- Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper with pan spray. You do not want your pretzels to stick.
- Make sure you're wearing eye protection and that you are wearing 1-2 pair of gloves.
- In a bowl, measure out the water.
- Carefully measure the lye crystals into a small bowl or cup and then slowly pour them into the water.
- Stir carefully with a metal spoon until all the crystals are dissolved. Rinse the spoon.
- Using a spider or your gloved hand, carefully lower two pretzel buns into the water. Let soak for 45-seconds to a minute. Gently flip them over and allow to soak an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Using a slotted spoon or spider, carefully remove the rolls from the lye solution. Let drain on paper towel for a few seconds and then place them on the cookie sheet.
- Slash the tops of the buns in a decorative pattern (a cross or two or three parallel lines, for example).
- Sprinkle on the optional toppings, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until almost doubled (or just about hamburger bun size), about 45 minutes to an hour.About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Remove the plastic wrap and bake in the center of the oven* for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake an additional 2-5 minutes or unitl they are very deeply burnished and the internal temperature reads 200F-205F.
- Remove from oven, then use a spatula to transfer the buns to a rack to cool completely.
Please note that prep time does not take into account rising time of approximately 2-2 1/2 hours.
*I bake one pan at a time so they brown evenly. If you have a convection oven, set it for 350F, place a rack in upper and lower thirds of your oven, and bake the two pans at the same time, rotating the pans and switching racks after 8 minutes or so.
And there you have it friends, gorgeous, deeply burnished, supremely pretzelly and delicious traditional pretzel buns. You are going to love them!
Oh, here’s a serving suggestion for you: traditional pretzel buns are the base of my epic Got To Be NC Burger for Burger Month 2016!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today. Take care, and have a lovely day.